For those of you who have been with us since the very beginning, you probably remember the intense phase of “sell everything and fundraise” that we went through in early 2012. Leaving the world of being self-supported and entering the world of being support-funded was one of the tougher transitions we’ve gone through in our marriage (right up there with going from no children to adoptive parents overnight, moving to a Country where we don’t speak the language, and launching a bunch of businesses in a developing Country where EVERYTHING is different). But in each major life transition we have come out the other end with an even greater level of awe at God’s provision and protection.
We are getting ready to enter another big life transition as we enter what we are calling the Year of Growth. In 2016, we will transition from a team of two, to a team of ten living and working for ITeams here in Masatepe, AND we will also transition from a family of three, to a family of four! As things have developed over these past 4 years, we have continued to live off of the original support we raised back in 2012. For those of you who have stuck with us since the beginning, thank you, and praise God for that provision! This year, with our growing life situation, we are now faced with the same need to fundraise that we faced in those early days. It can be overwhelming, humbling, and sometimes frustrating to be honest, but we’re looking forward to standing in awe of His provision once again.
As you may have picked up on the subtle hint at the end of Hannah’s last blog post, we found out we are expecting another child this August! As is the case with so many couples, we finalized an adoption and literally days later found out we were pregnant. Lucas’ adoption was a whole learning curve in and of itself, as we adopted as Nicaraguan Residents and not US Citizens. Dealing with the government adoption agency, the lawyers and the Courts, all in our second language, was a leap of faith in itself, but we made it through. This next child will lead us down another set of unknown roads as we experience being pregnant and giving birth in a developing country. One thing we do know in advance, however, is that we will have to private pay for the entire process in a private hospital in Managua. One advantage of living in a developing country is that the cost of private-paying your way through a child birth is much more affordable than in the world where we come from! We are anticipating the cost to be between $5k-$7k, US dollars. We feel very blessed to have access to affordable private healthcare here, and we feel confident in the doctors and the hospital that will deliver this little one into our lives!
We’ve reviewed our budget and the monthly giving we have been receiving, and have determined that we need to raise additional support in the amount of $800/mo.
To break that down into more a more tangible figure, most of our donors give recurring monthly contributions through some sort of electronic payment (credit card or bank transfer), and the average monthly donation falls somewhere between $25 and $100. If we could get 16 new donors to contribute on average at $50/mo, we would reach our new budget. Some folks choose to give once a year (around tax time or at year-end), which is just as fine for us as well. And we have a few folks that give via stock transfers, which is a great way for someone to contribute from stocks to a non-profit without having to pay taxes on those funds. If you would be willing to join our support-team moving forward, please go to the ITeams Online Giving page and fill out the form with “Brandon & Hannah Weidman” in the On Behalf Of field.
Also, for those who would like to contribute to our budget without giving a dime, you can do so by giving us a Real Estate referral, simply by connecting me with anyone you know who is buying or selling a home or refinancing a mortgage. Some of you probably remember that I worked in Real Estate prior to moving to Nicaragua, and in fact, over the past 3.5 years nearly one third of our total support has come from our friends in the real estate industry, including real estate agents, mortgage lenders, Title companies…etc. We would love nothing more than to be able to send business their way in reciprocation for the support they’ve sent us over the years. So please keep that in mind this year! Your real estate referrals result in us receiving mission support! Pretty cool.
Lastly, I thought it would be helpful to clarify one aspect of the work we do and how it relates to our income. As you know, we have several small businesses in Nicaragua. We have personally invested in a few of them, but for the most part they have been developed out of our mission support funds. In either case, we have never taken a dollar in income out of those businesses. The reason we’ve done business here was never to support us financially, but rather to support our Nicaraguan team and the work we do here in Masatepe. We’ve had many people over the past few years assume that we make a living off of that income, and although that would be okay in some cases, it’s simply not how these businesses are currently structured, and in addition to that our current residency status in Nicaragua is “Missionary – no work” which means we do not have permission to work for profit. We prefer to empower Nicaraguans and grow the businesses versus use them as a vehicle for raising our own support anyway. If you’ve been supporting Hannah and I over these past few years, you’ve been supporting those businesses and the other projects we do here as well. We just wanted to make sure everyone understood that. In the coming days/weeks you will see us promoting Beto’s Coffee Co. and a big push to grow our online sales via a Kickstarter Campaign. That is completely separate from the funds we personally have to raise to cover our living expenses while living in Nicaragua. We appreciate your support at every level though!
Feel free to email us personally to privately discuss funding our work. Thanks to each of you for the encouragement you continually show us through financial support, prayer, visiting us in person, sending us encouraging notes, and the love you’ve shown us and Lucas as a family! We wouldn’t do any of this without you. With Jesus, and with each other, we can change the future. Thanks for joining us in seeing that happen in Masatepe.